BNP Rally in Khulna: Curbed by cops, transport strike | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, February 28, 2021 / LAST MODIFIED: 03:50 AM, February 28, 2021

BNP Rally in Khulna: Curbed by cops, transport strike

Due to law enforcers' obstructions and a 24-hour transport strike, the BNP rally in Khulna was held on a limited scale yesterday.

Activists said they were harassed by police on the way to the rally.

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Amid the transport strike, many tried to go across the Rupsha river by boats to reach the city. But only a handful of boats were available.

Police also attacked crowds near Thanar Mor around 2:00pm, saying that the activists had been chaotic.

The party's international affairs committee member Ishraque Hossain, who was supposed to address the rally, alleged that police stopped him in Dakbanglo area.

The rally was scheduled to be held at 2:30pm at Moharaj Chattar near the BNP office in Khulna.

But the activists started gathering there in the morning and around 10:00am, local leaders started delivering speeches to an audience of several hundred people.

A large number of police deployed in the area then cordoned off the site.

BNP's Central leaders from Dhaka reached there around 1:30pm. But law enforcers kept pressuring the BNP men to leave, saying that they did not have the permission to hold the rally.

The senior leaders along with several hundred activists then left the area and gathered on KD Ghosh Road, which is also close to the BNP office.

The leaders delivered speeches there until around 5:30pm.

BNP Vice-Chairman Shajahan Omar urged the supporters to launch a tough movement to ensure free and fair elections across the country.

Other leaders alleged that many activists could not attend the rally because of police and at least 30 were detained in the last three days.

Qazi Mustaq, officer-in-charge of Khalishpur Police Station, said police arrested only those accused in different cases.

Khulna Metropolitan Police Commissioner Md Masudur Rahman Bhuiyan refuted the allegations of police harassment.

He added that permission could not be given for the rally because of coronavirus restrictions.

As transport associations enforced a 24-hour strike in Khulna from 6:00pm Friday, many people were seen waiting at bus stops in Sonadanga, Rupsha, and Gollamari yesterday morning.

Very few alternatives like auto-rickshaws were seen on the roads.

A leader of Khulna Bus-Minibus-Coach Association said the strike was called to avoid possible damage to vehicles in case there was chaos during the rally.

The BNP on February 5, announced that it would hold rallies in six city corporation areas across the country to demand fair elections.

The party held a rally in Barishal on February 18. Ferry services between Shimulia and Banglabazar were suspended when BNP leaders were scheduled to cross the river.

The BNP alleged that the government suspended the services on purpose.

Officials refuted the allegation and said ferries services were suspended due to technical issues.

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